North Carolina greenlights sports betting regulations, market could launch ahead of March Madness

The North Carolina Lottery Commission has taken a step forward in paving the way for sports betting in the Tar Heel State, endorsing a second set of regulations to oversee the market. These regulations encompass critical areas, including responsible gaming, advertising, and the application process for interested operators.

Notably, the Commission decided against including fantasy sports in North Carolina’s betting market, concentrating primarily on the sports betting side of the law, deemed more lucrative and fundamental within the legislation.

Within the comprehensive 256-page document of regulations, stringent measures have been proposed. The ban of terms like “risk-free” and “free” from marketing materials, unless genuinely reflecting no material risk to players or their funds, stands out.

Additionally, operators are mandated to submit responsible gaming reports, outlining measures to protect players and offer necessary support.

To further promote responsible gambling, access to self-exclusion lists and the regulator’s problem gambling hotline will be available on sportsbook apps and advertisements. Additionally, platforms will be mandated to offer responsible gambling such as deposit limits and time-out periods.

Advertising restrictions prohibit content aimed at underage individuals, emphasizing the avoidance of imagery, symbols, or endorsements catering to that demographic.

As the application window for licenses remains open until December 27, the North Carolina Lottery revealed interest from 14 operators, with ESPN BET, bet365, and FanDuel as the only publicly known applicants thus far.

These three have secured Written Designated Agreements with sports teams and venues, an obligatory step in the license application process. ESPN BET linked with Quail Hollow Club, bet365 with the Charlotte Hornets, and FanDuel partnered with the PGA Tour.

While the precise launch date remains undisclosed, signs point toward a potential debut before the commencement of March Madness.¬†Given regulators have already confirmed sports betting won’t be up in time for Super Bowl, the NCAA Basketball tournament seems like the next best option for the market’s launch in North Carolina.